She looked at me and said "I have a sad thing in my life, too."
Cards for a game lay crooked upon the hotel bed. The television muttered in the background. A man on the screen had just finished telling us that, at a young age, he had lost his father.
"What's that, sweetie?"
Her eyes were shining, diamonds of liquid blue. "My brother and sister. When people ask me if I have any brothers or sisters, I get sad because I miss them."
My heart hollowed itself out. I reached out a shaky hand, touching her gently upon her knee. She covered her mouth with her hand, stifling a tiny sob.
"It's okay to feel that way." Long pause.
"I know, but it makes me upset. That's why I have to say I don't want to talk about it ."
"It's okay to feel that way, too, sweet pea."
I swallowed the slight bitterness of telling myself it was okay. I sat there thinking "There are days, my girl, so many days where I don't want to talk about it, either. Yet every chamber of my heart echoes with plaintive cries that refuse to be unheard." I smiled, wanly, silent.
She nodded her head. I squeezed her hand. We went back to our game, shrouded in echoes.